When Melodee Miller sat down at her computer six years ago and spent three weeks lovingly creating a photo album crammed with pictures, poems, letters and a lifetime of memories for her darling Grandpa’s 80th birthday, she couldn’t have imagined she’d end up doing the same for hundreds of brides and grooms across the country.
Yet, today, she runs not one but two businesses devoted to designing the perfect album for couples wanting to make the most of their precious wedding photos.
“I hate the thought of a couple’s poor little wedding images being stuck on a disc somewhere,’’ says the Queensland mother-of-two.
“My aim is to liberate them and give the couple something truly special to have and to hold for the rest of their lives.’’
She adds, “technology changes, hard drives crash and people get new phones and new computers, but what happens to the data, especially your precious wedding photos?
“You may never be able to retrieve them, rescue them or even find them if they’re stuck on a hard drive or disk or SD card or phone, but books don’t change. They’re not reliant on hardware or software – and you can pick them up and flick through them in seconds. You can also take them with you with ease.”
Melodee’s business, Mint Cream Album Designs (and her commercial equivalent, Chocolate Beige Designs) takes all your digital images and then designs your perfect wedding album, one that reflects your style and personality as a couple.
While most of her customers are couples who may have married a few years ago and have their images on a disc or hard copies, she’s finding an increasing trade in new couples whose photographers don’t offer an album design service.
“I’ve noticed that many of my clients come to me because their own photographers don’t offer in-house album designing service,’’ says Melodee who also provides album designing services to some wedding photographers nationally.”
“So, it works out nicely because they get their preferred photographer to shoot their wedding in his or her signature style and they don’t have to miss out on a personally designed album.”
“It’s especially handy since most album suppliers won’t deal directly with brides and grooms and only deal with commercial bodies or the photographers themselves.”
Mint Cream Album Designs offers three packages, starting with the basic one, Mint, that offers a flush mounted wedding album in which each page is printed as a single image. This gives greater design flexibility – and means photos won’t risk falling out of an album.
Melodee’s top-of-the-line offering is the Spearmint package. a combination of flush mount pages and traditional matted pages, which is where the images are slotted into holders, and the rest of the page is designed to their specifications.
Regardless of which package a couple purchase, they get a free easily-transportable 5 X 7 version thrown in, so they can take a mini version of their wedding album with them to show friends and family, without having to cart the full, official album everywhere.
“There’s something about having a beautiful album of all your wedding photos to show your kids and grand kids,’’ says Melodee whose own children often pore over her own wedding album and love to make fun of her 1999 “big meringue” wedding dress.
“Instead of having just one picture of the two of you in a frame on a wall somewhere, an album gives them a feel for their parents’ entire wedding and who their parents were when they wed. It also shows who was important enough in their life at the time of their wedding to be invited to it and, really, it’s the only way to get a feel for your wedding from beginning to end without having to sit through a four-hour video.”
“I know I’ve only watched my wedding video once in the fifteen years I’ve been married, but I get my album out at least three or four times a year and reminisce. It still gives me goose bumps, and occasionally I even have a little cry!”
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